I'm in Warsaw for the week, and today I dropped by part of a presentation by Ryszard Horowitz, known for the very slick conceptualist/surrealist photo-illustrations he's made since the 1960s, very much in tune with the Polish style of 20th century poster art. I'd always assumed he did these with a lot of stripping, masking, and compositing in post, but he showed the setups and it's pretty much all done using carefully designed sets, lighting, and illusions of scale. So to have a woman's face in a broken eggshell, he has a broken eggshell close to the lens, and a woman several feet behind. During the part that I saw (I was on the way between two other events and couldn't stay for all of it), he didn't say how he was getting everything in focus, because some of these near/far effects aren't possible to manage even with camera movements, but I assume it involves multiple exposure and refocusing, and a few Polaroids to be sure everything lines up properly. In any case, this work really shows just how much can be done creatively without much in the way of either digital or analogue post production.
I had the good fortune to introduce Ryszard Horowitz at an event that I was moderating at the Polish Consulate in New York last night that included an exhibition of his jazz photographs (which are remarkable), and beforehand, I asked him how he got everything in focus in his more surrealistic works, and he said it was even more straightforward than I'd imagined. He said that he started doing this before Polaroid, he was shooting 35mm, and under those conditions, it would have been too difficult to refocus and keep everything in line, so he was just stopping down to get the focus, and balancing the lighting between the foreground and background objects to create the illusion that they were in the same plane. It was all in camera in a single exposure.
David sounds very interesting, is there any way you know of to see the link without having Flash Player 8 installed?
I cannot load it onto this wreck of a computer as somehow it won't install.
I can't seem to get to a non-flash version of that page, but you can always go analogue and order one of his books:
David, I've finally managed to view his work, very creative and I agree his jazz pictures are quite remarkable as well.
Not exactly impressed with the backgound music though.
Thanks for the link.